Congress President Sonia Gandhi has asked all the Congress-ruled states to “explore the possibilities” to bypass the newly enacted Farm Laws passed by the Parliament last week. The President of India has already given his assent to them. The party seeks to do so by bringing in legislation by all the State Assemblies concerned as according to the procedure, agriculture falls under the purview of the states. The party in a statement said: “Congress president has advised Congress-ruled states to explore the possibilities to pass laws in their respective states under Article 254(2) of the Constitution which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to negate the Anti-Agriculture Central laws encroaching upon State’s jurisdiction under the Constitution.”
It needs to be mentioned that farmers across the country have been protesting against the Farm Bills since they were tabled in Parliament earlier this month. Even the BJP’s oldest ally the Shiromani Akali Dal has parted ways out of the ruling coalition on the issue. The party and farmers across the country think that the concerned Bills are not in the interest of agriculturists as it would give corporates a larger role. They are of the view that they will not be paid even the Minimum Support Price (MSP) fixed by the government.
The party further said: “This (states passing laws negating Central legislations) would enable the states to bypass the unacceptable anti-farmers’ provisions in the three draconian Agricultural law including the abolition of MSP and disruption of APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committee) in Congress ruled states.”
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the guidelines under Article 254(2) allows a state legislature to make laws in contravention to the Union Parliament. He cited a similar example when former finance minister Arun Jaitley had recommended states to use these provisions to bypass the Land Acquisition Law passed by the then UPA regime.
He said in a tweet: “States should now follow the same advice to undo the damage caused by the Farm Bills that have become Acts.”